Monday, July 11, 2022

Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

Give Them What They Want - And How To Find Out What That Is

 

Effective marketing boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want, and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, that isn’t at all where you want to start. 


Steps In Effective Email Marketing

First, you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. Only then will you be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet and buy it. 

Pay attention to your website stats. Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information about where you’re readers came from, what page they landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. That data along with demographical information will tell you a lot about your audience. 


Pay Attention to Responses

As you start to email your readers, they will reply and get back in touch with you. Pay attention to what they’re saying. And don’t forget to read between the lines. Let’s say you’re in the parenting niche and you noticed that some of your readers are asking for suggestions on being a more patient parent. They complain about being short-temperate and freaking out about little things. The real issue may be a lack of sleep because the baby or toddler isn’t sleeping through the night. 

Dig deep and see what you can learn about your market. Sometimes what they tell you they want isn’t the real issue. On the flip side, it can be helpful to ask them for suggestions. Keep the questions open-ended if you want a lot to work with. 

Or consider having your readers fill out a simple little survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms. You get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email. 


Analyze Open Rates

Last but not least go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked a link to additional content, that’s even better. If on the other hand, you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and the overall message didn’t click with your audience. 

Use all the data and information you get back to learn more about your target audience and connect with them on a deeper level. The more you know about your subscribers, the more effective your email marketing will be.  


Recommended Reading

Email Marketing Tips - Get Them to Open Your Emails

4 Tips for Crafting Compelling Email Subject Lines

Email Frequency - When Should You Mail

Keep Them Waiting For More - Using Foreshadowing to Create Anticipation

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Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

Keep Them Waiting For More - Using Foreshadowing to Create Anticipation

 

There’s a pretty neat strategy called foreshadowing that you can use in your email marketing to improve open rates. You may have seen this used on news programs and talk shows. Right before the commercial break, the hosts announce what’s coming up next. The idea is that you’re intrigued enough to sit through the commercial to see the next segment. 

Another good example of foreshadowing is when magazines show images and headlines or short bullets of what’s coming in next month’s issue. Again, the point is to pique your interest and get you to either buy the next issue or even better, get a subscription. 


Adapting This Strategy for Email Marketing

We can easily adapt this for email marketing and it works like a charm. Toward the end of your email transition from what you’re talking about today to what’s coming in the next email. Be vague on purpose, but grab their attention. 

For example, if you’re talking about why email marketing is important and the next email will be about crafting subject lines to get a higher open rate, you may write something like this: “Keep an eye out for Friday’s email. We’ll talk about THE most important thing when it comes to email marketing. If you don’t get this right, nothing else matters.” 


Mix it Up

To mix it up, mention what they can find in the next email in the P.S. of your message. If you publish a weekly newsletter, try adding a section on what’s coming in the next issue similar to what you see in a magazine. Keep it simple and use images for the best results. 

You can even take it a step further and get your subscribers to open a previously sent email. This works particularly well if you’re writing a series of emails on a related topic. Toward the beginning of your email you mention something you covered in the last email, then move into today’s topic and then wrap it up with a little hint about what’s coming next. 

You don’t have to use foreshadowing in every single email. Sprinkle it in here and there where it makes sense. It also gives you a chance to pick up on in the subject line of your next email. Try using something like “As promised…” Even readers who missed your last email might be curious enough to open this one. 

Give it a try and see if you start to see higher open rates and more importantly get your subscribers more engaged. 

Recommended Reading

Email Marketing Tips - Get Them to Open Your Emails

4 Tips for Crafting Compelling Email Subject Lines

Email Frequency - When Should You Mail


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Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

Email Frequency - When Should You Mail?

 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a magic formula you could follow or a given schedule that works for everyone? We all wish there was a magic formula that would ensure that we got the best results every time but unfortunately there is no such thing, and there’s a good reason there isn’t. 


Why Isn’t There a Special Formula?

The reason there is no special formula is that every audience and every person is different. Every website has its own needs and needs to draw attention at different intervals. There is no way to make everyone happy with the same actions, but there is a lot you can do to make almost any email frequency work for your website. 


Let’s Lay the Groundwork

One of the biggest mistakes is to have too much time between your marketing emails because then your readers have a chance to forget you. I never recommend for anyone to send emails out less than once per month. For most markets, you will want to send emails at least twice per month. 

On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to send more than one email per day on average. Some days you may need to send multiple emails but on your weekly or bi-weekly average, you should not send an email more than an average of once per day.


Making A Decision on Frequency

Start with analyzing what you are doing now and how it is working for you. Then figure out how often you want to send emails. Do you need to grow a closer connection to your readers by sending marketing emails more often? Do you need to drive more traffic back to your website by sending out links more often? Do you need to increase your income by sending emails more frequently? 


Making A Plan

Once you have decided where you are with your current marketing efforts, and where you want to be, you can make a plan to help you get from Point A to Point B. What you don’t want to do is to go straight from emailing once every few months to daily emails. It’ll get your readers clicking the spam button like crazy. Instead, start with monthly emails for a couple of months, then let your readers know you have more to share with them and start mailing weekly. Then a few months later, ramp it up to daily emails.

Or find a good reason why you’re mailing them daily. For example, while you usually publish a weekly newsletter with the occasional promotional email in between, running a 15 or 30-day challenge for your readers is a great excuse to hit their inbox daily without seeming pushy or spammy. 

Listen to your audience when you get feedback on email frequency but also realize that there will always be someone complaining. Look at data like open rates to get a better feel for what frequency is working best for you and your audience. 


Recommended Reading

Email Marketing Tips - Get Them to Open Your Emails

4 Tips for Crafting Compelling Email Subject Lines


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Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

4 Tips for Crafting Compelling Email Subject Lines

 


It’s easy for us to fall into the habit of creating the perfect email and just slapping on a subject line that we feel will do the trick in the end. However, it is important to spend some time writing them to see what type of headline gets you the best open rates. Here are five tips I give new bloggers and website owners frequently when it comes to creating the perfect email subject line. 

The first thing you must get right and absolutely master when it comes to internet marketing is the subject line. If they are not appealing, your subscribers will not open your emails. It doesn’t matter how much work you put into the email or how amazing it is. 

It’s easy for us to fall into the habit of creating the perfect email and just slapping on a subject line that we feel will do the trick at the end. However, it is important to spend some time writing them to see what type of headline gets you the best open rates. Here are five tips I give new bloggers and website owners frequently when it comes to creating the perfect email subject line. 

Keep it Short

You want your readers to be able to see the entire subject line before they click on your email. You also want it to be easy for people to scan through emails. The goal is to get your point across in less 50 characters or less.  Check to see how your subject lines look on your own devices. 

Another great ideal is to keep a swipe file of subject lines that got your attention, even if the emails are on a completely different topic. What was it that made these email subject lines grab your attention? Adapt that idea for your own needs and use your own words with the same emphasis that got your attention.

Don’t Make it Sound “Spammy”

Make it a habit to stay away from words that are typically associated with spam emails. Words like:

  • Sale
  • Discount
  • Coupon
  • Free
  • Limited time offer
  • Reminder

Even if emails with subject lines containing these words don’t end up in your reader’s spam box, they will likely get ignored because people associate them with spam emails. If you’re tempted to use them because your creativity bank is running dry, review the subject lines in your swipe files and try to figure out why they worked so well to get your attention. Why did they draw you in? Not every approach will work in every niche, you can analyze what makes them so attractive to you. 

Make it Personal

Some markets overuse personalizing emails with the recipient’s first name, it still works well for a lot of us. While it doesn’t work for everyone, give it a try to see if it works for your market. Don’t over do it, but it is a great technique when you really need someone to open the email. 

Depending on the type of data that you collect when readers sign up, you can personalize other things inside of your email, like location. When someone sees the name of their state or even the city they live in, it is more likely to get their attention.

Pique Their Interest

Let’s face it, humans are nosy. It’s hard to ignore subject lines that catch our attention or sound intriguing or only tell us part of the story and leave us hanging. Leaving “…” at the end of your subject line will also draw people in. 

The idea of creating compelling email subject lines is simple. You want people to click them and open the email to find out what you’re talking about and how the story ends. 

The best tip I can offer when it comes to crafting compelling subject lines is to collect a swipe file of examples that caused you to open the email and determine what drew you in. 

Recommended Reading


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Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

SEO Basics: On-Page SEO

 
Every website owner should have an SEO strategy and every SEO strategy is focused on ranking as high as possible in search engines. While it may be tempting to focus on making yourself relevant to all search engines, the most important one to cater to is Google. Your primary focus should be on developing a website that is appealing to Google’s algorithm. Factors that affect how Google’s algorithm views your website can be divided into two main categories: On-page SEO factors and Off-page SEO factors. Here, I will discuss the difference between the two with a primary focus on the importance of on-page SEO including the main factors of on-page SEO.


On-Page and Off-Page SEO

On-Pages SEO involves any element associated with your website. There are a lot of things you can focus on to improve your on-page SEO but they mostly focus on your technical set-up, the quality of your website’s code, visual and textual content, and how user-friendly your website is. On the other hand, there are a number of off-page factors that include links from other websites, developing social media attention, and various marketing activities that take place outside of the structure of your website.  

When you are focusing on off-page SEO, you should be focused on getting more links to your website from other high-quality, reputable websites. This will help your website rank higher on google. Take the time to learn about link building and how to use the concept to improve your website. 


Importance of On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is composed of all of the SEO elements that you have control over. As a website owner, you can control technical issues and the quality of your website content. You should be able to tackle all of these factors with just a little research and reading here at Freelancing in Straight Jackets. Once you create an awesome website, you will definitely start ranking. Continuously focusing on on-page SEO will allow you to ensure that your off-page SEO strategy will be successful as well. Link building gets pretty rough if you have a crappy website. Nobody in their right mind wants to link to a website that is poorly written or doesn’t work properly.

3 Essential On-Page SEO factors

In my opinion, there are three major on-page SEO factors. While other writers may disagree with me, I can only speak for my personal experience and what has worked for me, my websites, and my client’s websites. These are the three main things you should focus on:

1. Technical excellence

Your website’s code should be high quality. If you are looking for an SEO-friendly platform, I personally recommend WordPress. WordPress is also easy to set up an entire website without much technical knowledge. If you do choose WordPress, a great plugin option to use is All-in-One SEO, it can take care of the remaining technical challenges without much effort from you. It takes care of the on-page SEO and teaches you about it along the way.

Another important point to add in this section is indexing. If you are not familiar with indexing, let me explain what it is and what it has to do with Google. Before you are able to show your page in search results, Google has to know that the page exists. The page must be indexed by Google, which means the page has to be crawled by Googlebot and stored in their index. For that to be possible, you have to ensure that you aren’t blocking Google from indexing your post, or your whole site. So, make sure you are not unintentionally blocking Google and make sure to get your site indexed.

2. Amazing content

What are the reasons you think people visit your website? Hopefully, it's because they are finding what they are looking for. Therefore, it’s important to write excellent content that meets their needs. It’s easy to forget that search engines like Google read your text also. The site ranking highest for certain search terms is mostly based on the content a website contains. This is why your content needs to be informative, easy to read, and should be focused on the right keywords for your audience to find. 

Learn about writing high-quality content in our Ultimate Guide to SEO Copywriting. 

3. Flawless UX

The third topic we need to talk about is user experience. Users need to be able to understand your website. They should be able to find what they need instantly, and you need to provide navigation to what you offer. Your website should be fast, beautifully designed, and overall user-friendly.

Here we have talked about the most important factors of on-page SEO. First, you need to make sure that your website is working properly and that your technical SEO is top-notch. Secondly, you need to create user-centered content and focus on the right keywords. Thirdly, you need to work on the usability and speed of your website to assist users and search engines find their way around your website easily.

Since these factors all work directly with your website, they are all considered on-page SEO. Make sure to work on your off-page SEO as well to ensure that you have people spreading the word. 

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Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

Email Marketing Tips – Get Them to Open Your Emails

One of the most important tasks you can invest time in is your email marketing efforts. A well-constructed email marketing campaign will draw in readers and customers and help your new and existing content to convert. There are a lot of things to take into account when you are preparing your email marketing strategy so let’s look into Email Deliverability.


What You Need to Know About Email Deliverability

You will spend a good chunk of time each week crafting emails to your subscribers but if you don’t have a good delivery rate it won’t do you any good. If those emails land in your potential readers’/customers’ spam folder, you don’t have much of a chance of making a sale or building a quality relationship with them. Here are three tips to ensure that your emails make it to your subscribers’ inboxes without unnecessary drama. 


Use a Reputable Auto Responder Service

Using a reputable auto responder service is the best thing you can do to reduce the chances of your emails landing in spam folders. Companies like ConvertKit, AweberMooSend, and Get Response are extremely popular, and these companies work really hard to make sure that they are in good standing with various email platforms. 

Most autoresponders have the capability to list delivery stats and ensure that your emails are in compliance to keep you out of trouble. 


Set Expectations and Hold Yourself to Them

If your subscribers regularly open your emails, you have a better chance of staying in the primary inbox. The only way to ensure that your customers open your emails is to provide great content to your subscribers every time. To do this, you need to set your expectations high from the beginning and hold yourself to the same high standards every time you compose an email. Let your subscribers know early on how often they will receive emails from you so there is a better chance they will be opened. 

Another great way to remind your customers and readers is to “foreshadow” your messages. An example of this is toward the end of your current email, mention they can look for another email from you next Wednesday. Once you have set this expectation with your readers or customers, do everything you can to uphold that promise. Readers will expect it and they will lose faith in you if you don’t stick to your word. It will also improve your deliverability.


Clean Up Your Mailing List Regularly

A great step you can take to ensure that you land in the main inbox is to clean up your email list regularly. Remove subscribers that have not opened your emails in the last six months because there is a good chance that they are no longer interested in the services or information that you are offering.  

To do this, check your auto responder services manual or help files. This will show you how to delete anyone that hasn’t opened an email during the period of time you have. If the idea of deleting anyone who hasn’t read your emails in the past six months freaks you out, delete people who haven’t looked at your emails in the last year. 

These tips help you to ensure the high deliverability of your emails in general. Doing this will ensure that the emails you send out will make it to subscribers that want to receive your information. After all, that’s the point of email marketing, right? 


Recommended Reading

4 Tips for Crafting Compelling Email Subject Lines




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Published July 11, 2022 by with 0 comment

SEO Basics: Off-Page SEO


 Off-page SEO is something you may not have heard of if you haven’t started a website or blog before. The basic definition of off-page SEO is everything that doesn’t happen directly on your website. Essentially, optimizing your website is considered On-Page SEO and includes concepts like content, speed optimization, and site structure. Off-page SEO focuses more on topics like link building, social media, and local SEO efforts. Basically, it is getting traffic to your website and making your website or business appear like it’s the big deal it is. Here I will address the question of what off-page SEO is.


Creating Brand Awareness, Trust, and Exposure

When you are focusing on your on-page SEO, you’re doing everything you can to make your website the best of the best for your target audience. You’re creating amazing content with the perfect keywords. You’re developing a solid site structure and ensuring your mobile site loads in just a few seconds. Your website is beautiful, and everything feels perfect, but there is another part of the SEO world you need to address – off-page SEO. Off-page SEO helps bring in crowds of visitors, potential customers, and potential affiliate sales. Both SEO aspects are important to your website's overall health and are extremely important parts of a successful website. 

Writing quality content is one amazing way that you can rank in search engines like Google but working hard to get relevant sites to link to your content increases your chances of moving up a couple spaces in the search results. You can move yourself up even further by building your brand and developing trust with the readers and customers you bring in. These important aspects of your website don’t just happen on screen, they mostly happen off-site. One example of this is reviews. Reviews can make or break a company in the eyes of potential customers and even reviews will factor into your search rankings.

It's not enough to rank high for your keyword or search term. You have to create trust and a sense of authority for your content or brand. Ranking high means nothing if you don’t appear to be the best search result and not just for technical reasons. Relevance, quality, and popularity are everything. 

Prioritize Link Building

Links are the glue to keeping the internet together. Search engines are guided by links, and they use links to determine how valuable a particular piece of content or a specific site is. Getting and giving quality links has always been a valuable tactic for ranking a website. Recently there has been a debate in the background between website owners about how relevant links are but, in my experience, I have always had great success following the general rule of thumb when it comes to links. The best tip I can give for weighing links is that you need good inbound links. I do not recommend buying links and it is very important to pay close attention to where and how you’re being linked to. We are currently working on guides for how to get quality links to your site and what you shouldn’t do when link building. 

Using Social Media Helps a Little

Unless you have a massive following, social media is not essential for ranking well in search engines. However, using social media provides you with a unique opportunity to reach out to customers and visitors and interact with your audience on a more personal level. 

Unfortunately, being active on social media doesn’t help with local search visibility, especially with some social media outlets slowly tightening restrictions on marketing tactics. The best way to use social media to benefit your website is to engage customers with interesting content from your website, announce promotions, create polls, develop conversation, and interact with what they want to see from you in the future. This will also help build your brand’s reputation. Just keep in mind that local rankings, if necessary, will need to come from other factors. 

Local SEO is Considered Off-Page SEO

Local SEO is recommended for certain types of businesses, especially if your business is locally oriented. Word-of-mouth marketing and face-to-face marketing is a types of off-page SEO as well. Happy customers that leave online reviews can dramatically help your business. 

Off-page SEO Must Be Part of Your SEO Strategy

As I have shown you here, the best supplement to your On-Page SEO is a solid off-page SEO strategy. Your main focus should be placed on link building, website appearance, and website branding, to make the most out of your SEO strategy. Keep in mind, that you can optimize your website and create what you feel is the best website available, but your customers and readers need to come first. You need to make sure that people see it as a quality destination.

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